IPS: Lloyd returns to victory lane at Iowa

Alex Lloyd took a two race hiatus, but returned to victory lane in the Indy Pro Series today, winning the Iowa 100 on the 0.894-mile, high-banked Iowa Speedway. Lloyd's five race win streak came to an end last week when he scored a pair of second...

Alex Lloyd took a two race hiatus, but returned to victory lane in the Indy Pro Series today, winning the Iowa 100 on the 0.894-mile, high-banked Iowa Speedway. Lloyd's five race win streak came to an end last week when he scored a pair of second pace finishes in the Liberty Challenge races on the road course at Indianapolis.

Lloyd started on the front row today, slotting in behind polesitter Wade Cunningham at the first corner. Early in the race, Sean Guthrie managed to get a run off the bottom of Turn four to edge Lloyd for second place. The top three cars, Cunningham, Guthrie and Lloyd raced nose to tail for several laps before catching traffic in Turns 3 and 4.

Cunningham split the lapped cars masterfully, while Guthrie was balked allowing Lloyd to retake second place.

By midpoint of the race Hideki Mutoh joined the trio at the point, swapping third place with Guthrie several times before Guthrie lost control of his car exiting Turn 4 and skidded into the infield. He hit the inside retaining wall before coming to a rest towards the end of pit lane.

Despite four caution periods, Lloyd was unable to capitalize on restarts, allowing Cunningham to lead the first 105 laps of the race.

Lloyd shadowed Cunningham for the entire race before getting a wheel under his competitor on the front straight. The pair pulled even through the first corner, racing side by side down the backstretch before Cunningham conceded the lead in the third turn.

"It was a clean race," said Lloyd after notching his sixth victory this season, adding that it was also one of the "most enjoyable races I've been in, in a long time."

After the race Lloyd admitted that he spent most of the race trying to find where his car was better than Cunningham's. "I knew I had to pass on the bottom. There was no way I could pass him on the top," Lloyd said. Once I made the pass, "he would have a chance to pass me, so I put it off as long as I could."

Obviously dejected, Cunningham said he "built a lot of gaps" that were erased by cautions. In reality, Cunningham was never enjoyed more than a 4 car-length lead. Nevertheless, he said he was "very happy to have a second."

Hideki Mutoh finished third and now trails Lloyd in the championship by 119 points.

Ryan Justice finished fourth followed by Robbie Pecorari and Logan Gomez in sixth.

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Alex Lloyd , Ryan Justice , Robbie Pecorari , Logan Gomez , Sean Guthrie , Hideki Mutoh